Strong Voice is a practice that establishes the teacher’s authority in the classroom. It is the teacher’s ability to present themselves to their students to encourage compliance and on-task behavior. Having a strong voice makes the use of excessive consequences unnecessary.
- State clear expectations.
- Scan the room to ensure that the students are meeting the expectation.
- Use any of the five basic principles when interacting with students to establish control.
- Use Economical Language: Fewer words are better. Using too many words can distract students from the point you are trying to make. Stay calm and communicate clearly what you want.
- Command Attention: When the teacher needs students to listen, his or her words are the most important and should not compete for attention. Wait until there is no talking or rustling. Nothing continues until the teacher has everyone’s attention.
- Stay Focused: The teacher does not let students distract him or her from the topic at hand. Do not engage in chatter.
- Square up-Stand Still: When giving directions, stop moving and doing other tasks. To convey the seriousness of your directions, turn with two feet and two shoulders and make direct eye contact with the student(s) to whom you are speaking.
- Exude Quiet Power: It is instinctual for teachers to speak louder and faster if they feel they are losing control. Fight those instincts and drop to a quieter tone and pace to maintain control. Exude calm and drop one's voice so students strain to listen.
- Integrate Strong Voice into all interactions with students to establish control and authority.